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Amanda Ortiz

Before Weight ManagementHer weight loss has Amanda Ortiz doing cartwheels.

Amanda tried for years to lose weight. "I'd drop 50 lbs and then gain it back," she says. So she decided to seek help through New York Methodist's bariatric surgery program.

Before surgery, Amanda was 294 lbs, had a problem climbing stairs and suffered from sleep apnea and acid reflux. "The medical team at New York Methodist prepared me for the huge commitment I was about to undertake. Weight loss is not just about surgery -- it's a lot of hard work as you learn to eat better and exercise" she says.

She had the utmost confidence in her surgeon who she knew had completed hundreds of successful surgeries. She was also impressed by the wonderful care she received from the nurses who looked over her during her hospital stay. "The staff did a good job of communicating what to expect before, during and after surgery. I called so many times with questions, but the staff always called me back and provided the information I needed to relax and feel reassured."

After Weight ManagementShe says the staff helped her manage insurance issues, attended to her needs and provided the post-surgical psychological support to stay focused and keep the pounds off.

Now, Amanda is about 150 lbs lighter. Having weight issues from the age of 13, she's thrilled to tell you the many things she can now do -- "I ride a bike again. I recently rode a scooter for the first time ever! Now I fit into one seat on the subway, not two. And most importantly, I can do a cartwheel again!!"

With her health problems gone, Amanda has undergone a complete lifestyle change. She eats healthier and works out regularly. She sees a trainer twice per week and takes kickboxing class with her daughter. Amanda has even started the first ever New York Methodist walking club which gives former bariatric patients the opportunity to exercise and support one another as they undergo the social and behavioral changes of losing weight. "Everyone says I'm happier now," she says. "I'm down from a size 24 to a size 4. A 4!! Can you believe that?"

To join Amanda's walking club which meets on Sunday mornings, email walkingforweightloss@hotmail.com.

Watch a video of Amanda doing cartwheels!